The responsibilities of a CEO are many and varied, and when you are at the head of a company it is important to be able to keep up with and understand all areas of your business. Decisions made by CEOs impact the whole company and will be based on a variety of factors, so certain skills and college degrees can be extremely useful for a CEO.
So, which college degrees are the best for CEOs should they decide to go back to school?
A computer science degree is very versatile – and almost essential if your business is technology related – but it is also useful to any CEO. In the modern world, technology is key to business; streamlining tasks, facilitating communication, and boosting marketing opportunities. Being able to make informed choices about the online development of your business can save time and money.
It is important to remember with a computing based degree, however, that the technological world moves quickly, and for your degree to continue to be relevant, you will have to keep up.
Business or Business Management
If you have a great idea but little or no business knowledge, either of these degree paths might be a good choice as they teach a little of the many fields relevant for a CEO. It can also be a disadvantage, however, as business degrees are very broad, so you must be prepared to be ambitious and spend time specializing and tailoring your skills, perhaps through postgraduate study.
Many business decisions come down to the financial bottom line, and so it is imperative for a CEO to have a good head for figures and more than a basic understanding of the company’s income.
A masters in accounting will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to deal with the complex web of international and online laws and standards to which companies must comply. Another benefit for anyone who is already busy building their business is an online masters in accounting, such as the one offered by the UAB Collat School of Business, which is 100% online and allows you to study remotely.
Marketing is a vital skill for business owners or those starting their own business. Knowing which customer groups to target, and how to make your company visible online, are essential to growing a company, and while marketing is a huge field, it can have a direct effect on the turnover and success of a business. This means, for a CEO, being able to work closely with your marketing team and provide direction, which will be invaluable for any business type.
Psychology or Philosophy
While less obviously linked to business, these sorts of degree can be highly beneficial for many reasons. Learning how people think and react, individually and as a group, can be of use in a variety of interpersonal situations, such as during interactions with customers, investors, or even staff. Additionally, degrees such as philosophy teach critical thinking, a very valuable personal trait for a CEO who has to make decisions based on a variety of factors.
Just the experience of going to college is hugely valuable, but to be the best in the ever-expanding world of business, some of these degrees will put you a step above the competition. It is important to consider your options and choose a degree which will further your career goals while being interesting and stimulating.